Please dont feed the newbie...

#1
Hello all,

Before I say anything, I should point out that I am not a serving soldier (yet) - so if anything I say is wrong go easy on me :p I have however taken the first step and went into the careers office on Monday to get my application pack, and intend to have it in by Thursday - only a small step but I feel none the less an important one.

Anyway, enough about me...

Its a simple question that I have really. I am planning on joining the Signals as it was recommended to me by the careers officer. I've done some research and have a couple of idea's about what I'd like to do, and areas where my IT background might be useful, but I thought I'd ask people who actually do the job for a living for their ideas. Daft as it sounds, I'd rather like to do something that involves working on the front lines rather than in a communications centre in Germany or something like that (I would try to explain why, but I can't really put it into words - possibly because I don't understand myself but its just where I feel drawn towards), but they don't really give you an idea of whether the job entails that kind of thing on the army website.

Secondly, at 24 :)o) am I likely to be referred to as "Grandad" by all the other new recruits? It doesn't bother me, I'm just curious as to whether I am unusually old to consider the Army as a career ( I should have done it long ago, but thats my failing!)

Anyway, I'm sure I'll have plenty more questions as I progress through the recruitment process, but thanks for taking the time to look at this :)
 
#2
Welcome Dan.
The only advice I can give you is do what job YOU want to do & not what the recruiting officer tries pushing you for. Have you concidered learning a new trade away from IT ? The opportunities are there for you !!! Its been a long time since I left so cant answer any Q,s you may have about how the Sigs work now (its a completley diffrent ball game from my Cold war Warrior days) . Whatever you do tho,, good luck.

LT.
 
#3
Cheers, I had thought about a different trade as I am getting kind of fed up with IT to be honest, indeed I initially had my heart set on the infantry but I could see the point he was making about going for a trade and it does make sense. The thing is that, as I say, I really want something "in the thick of it" which the majority of trades don't seem to include. Hence I was thinking of the infantry.

Choice is definately a bad thing ;)
 
#5
The Engineers is a good idea .... but another thought: If you want to be involved with comms AND be in the thick of it then join an infantry regiment but concentrate on getting into the comms section .... used to be called the signal platoon. Best (?) of both worlds if you want comms+some action.

Best of luck ... and don't worry about the age thing as it's not an issue.
 
#6
There you go Dan, ..... If you are fed up with IT now & you have your heart set on Inf , Go Inf. Then again, there are other arms who can end up in the thick of things ( If that really floats your boat) & you can get a trade. The Royal Engineers is one who springs to mind. As I said before tho , things have changed now & any soldier in any arm can find themselves getting loud, down & dirty in todays conflicts. The front line is not as clear cut nowadays. You are afterall a soldier 1st & tradesman 2nd.


LT.
 
#7
Aim to come out of the services with a trade that will stand you in good stead for a second career (or third + at 24) when you have finished your time.

At 24 you should have a reasonable idea of life by now and what you expect to get from the military. Put that down in words here and see what folk have to say regarding your career thoughts.

You will no doubt be ragged etc but you will also get the benefit of a wealth of experience - cut the wheat from the chaff and sort out the way you wish to go forward.

My tuppence worth is not to join the infantry - you can get a trade and play soldiers later on if you wish.

Job done
 
#8
Dan,

Because of the way the military works now, you will find signals guys at all points in any conflict. They can be found in the command bunkers in UK to SAS missions in smelly and very dodgy areas. IIRC only the signals offers the whole range of specialities from rear base, green army, armour, para, commando and SF. I know IT Engineers who spent a considerable amount of their time in AFG and Iraq in platoon houses and forward bases, and EW is similar.

Once you are in, the choice is largely yours.

You may be surprised how many of the 'older' recruits join the signals, and you certainly won't be out of place.

Baggy
 
#9
HAGAR makes a good point. Try to cast your mind forward and decide what you want life to hold for you when you leave the forces.

Then, try to match your trade/training to prepare you for that.

Don't worry about the action side of things too much. The way things are going there will be plenty of that for everybody, and more.
 
#10
as echoed before you really can try to steer your career towards one type or another, if getting in the thick of it is your bag then make yourself known and the opportunity may arise.... however you may just endup in a commcen in germany. these things happen. and will in the engineers or inf too. for example you maybe steered to where your regiment needs you most not your own personal preference
 
#11
Wow, thanks for all the quick responses :) Its pretty hard for me to cast my mind that far forward at the moment as I am planning on doing a full 22 years (I know, he'll never stick it you all think... :p) Also Easy, I understand your point about being assigned wherever and I'm more than prepared to do it, its just I'd "preferably" not be stuck in Germany or sommat ;) Hagar, fair points throughout, the engineers were something I hadn't considered (I mistakenly thought that all they did was build things out of duck tape and pipe cleaners like a large scale blue peter ;)) - having looked into it a bit further it certainly looks like it ticks all the boxes, as does signals. Hmmm. Decisions decisions.

As for my reasons for wanted to join the Army, I'll try and explain. Go easy on me though, its not something I can quantify easily. Firstly, its not for the money (something people in IT find hard to grasp from experience) - I'll be taking a £10k paycut for this but for me I'm looking for something more from life and I feel the army can give it. I suppose it partly comes from my family, practically every bloke (and some birds) in my family have served in the forces (though mostly as matelots, they'd be spinning in their graves!) and so I suppose partly I feel that I should do my bit as well. Its more than that though. From seeing everybody I work with, I always feel like most people nowadays fail to achieve anything of import from their lives, and seem to function with the sole purpose of financial gain. When I'm dead and gone, I want people to think "That Dan, he was a good lad. Not afraid to stand up and do his bit for his country". It sounds impossibly sad I know, but those kind of things are important to me. So many people have given there lives over the years (and still are now) to shape the world we live in, and it seems precious few people nowadays are prepared to stand alongside them.

I suppose it comes from a saying I've often heard (firstly from my Grandad I think) - all it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing. I can't remember who said it originally, but I like to think I'm a good man, and I'm kind of fed up of standing back and doing nothing.

Hopefully that all makes sense (it IS 11:30 on a schoolnight, and I have been out till 3ish the last two nights... :p), my flame retardant suit is now fully on so fire away!
 
#12
DanWilkie said:
As for my reasons for wanted to join the Army, I'll try and explain. Go easy on me though, its not something I can quantify easily. Firstly, its not for the money (something people in IT find hard to grasp from experience) - I'll be taking a £10k paycut for this but for me I'm looking for something more from life and I feel the army can give it. I suppose it partly comes from my family, practically every bloke (and some birds) in my family have served in the forces (though mostly as matelots, they'd be spinning in their graves!) and so I suppose partly I feel that I should do my bit as well. Its more than that though. From seeing everybody I work with, I always feel like most people nowadays fail to achieve anything of import from their lives, and seem to function with the sole purpose of financial gain. When I'm dead and gone, I want people to think "That Dan, he was a good lad. Not afraid to stand up and do his bit for his country". It sounds impossibly sad I know, but those kind of things are important to me. So many people have given there lives over the years (and still are now) to shape the world we live in, and it seems precious few people nowadays are prepared to stand alongside them.
I suppose it comes from a saying I've often heard (firstly from my Grandad I think) - all it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing. I can't remember who said it originally, but I like to think I'm a good man, and I'm kind of fed up of standing back and doing nothing.
:clap: :clap: :clap:


Dan,

Welcome and I hope that all of the above is a result of a successful night on the lash.

If not, try not to be such a cheeseball when you join mate, there's a good lad.

You brought a tear to my eye though I can tell you.
 

Alsacien

LE
Moderator
#13
DanWilkie said:
Wow, thanks for all the quick responses :) Its pretty hard for me to cast my mind that far forward at the moment as I am planning on doing a full 22 years (I know, he'll never stick it you all think... :p) Also Easy, I understand your point about being assigned wherever and I'm more than prepared to do it, its just I'd "preferably" not be stuck in Germany or sommat ;) Hagar, fair points throughout, the engineers were something I hadn't considered (I mistakenly thought that all they did was build things out of duck tape and pipe cleaners like a large scale blue peter ;)) - having looked into it a bit further it certainly looks like it ticks all the boxes, as does signals. Hmmm. Decisions decisions.

As for my reasons for wanted to join the Army, I'll try and explain. Go easy on me though, its not something I can quantify easily. Firstly, its not for the money (something people in IT find hard to grasp from experience) - I'll be taking a £10k paycut for this but for me I'm looking for something more from life and I feel the army can give it. I suppose it partly comes from my family, practically every bloke (and some birds) in my family have served in the forces (though mostly as matelots, they'd be spinning in their graves!) and so I suppose partly I feel that I should do my bit as well. Its more than that though. From seeing everybody I work with, I always feel like most people nowadays fail to achieve anything of import from their lives, and seem to function with the sole purpose of financial gain. When I'm dead and gone, I want people to think "That Dan, he was a good lad. Not afraid to stand up and do his bit for his country". It sounds impossibly sad I know, but those kind of things are important to me. So many people have given there lives over the years (and still are now) to shape the world we live in, and it seems precious few people nowadays are prepared to stand alongside them.

I suppose it comes from a saying I've often heard (firstly from my Grandad I think) - all it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing. I can't remember who said it originally, but I like to think I'm a good man, and I'm kind of fed up of standing back and doing nothing.

Hopefully that all makes sense (it IS 11:30 on a schoolnight, and I have been out till 3ish the last two nights... :p), my flame retardant suit is now fully on so fire away!
If you are fit you will find lots of options in the signals to be more "actively" involved via specialist units. Other options exist in more specialist roles if you have certain aptitudes.
For now just think about getting a year or two under your belt, and learn to perhaps keep some of your thoughts to yourself..... :wink:
 
#14
lol - night (and afternoon) on the lash + latter stages of sleep deprivation are a bad combination :p

I did warn you all though, fair and square!

Basically, to sum up (soberly) what I was trying to say, I want to do something worthwhile and feel like I've achieved something with my life.

Now where's the delete post button :oops:
 
#15
A good post, roadster.

I would question the bit about commcens though. Haven't most of these been replaced by little IT-based messaging systems. Aren't the remaining ones manned largely by civvies? I could be wrong of course.
 
#16
Dan,

Good sentiments and I suspect the Army will fulfill your requirements.

A word of warning though and I am totally serious. I'm an ex R Signals SNCO so speak from experience. There is an extraordinary amount of pointless bullsh1t in the R Signals. Don't get me wrong, all the opportunities that have been mentioned and more, are there but in a lot of Regular regiments you get fcuked around endlessly. Litter sweeps, sweeping leaves, stupid RSMs parades on a Monday morning at 7am in the rain and an awful lot more.

I generally had a good time but it can grind some people down. Take a very serious look at other Corps as well - as has been mentioned the RE may offer the trades you would like and has an infanetely smaller bullsh1t factor.

Not trying to put you off but being brutally honest and I'm sure there are many who will back up my point of view.

Anyway good luck with whatever you decide on - if you can work within the system it is a ball.
 
#17
You could always join the Marines and go down the signals branch!
Tsk tsk army.... Ha! go for the Corps we could do with likely young fellers like you! Mind you so could the Army. good luck whatever you choose and if you stick it you will never regret it.
 
#18
Dan,

I must echo Roadster's comments about your English. I wish I had Sgts, SSgts, WOs and young officers in my Squadron who could write like you. Report writing time would not see me running out of red ink! :)

Given your obvious intelligence have you considered going 'officer'? Not what everyone wants, but worth adding to the pot for consideration if not already ruled out by careers office.

Whatever you choose, best of luck and hopefully I will serve alongside you at some point.

Hob
 
#19
Dan,

You don't need to worry about being put in a COMMCEN anywhere. Firstly IS Eng don't do shifts in them; and secondly they are all pretty much run by DCSA civvies and the RAF now anyway.

As for 'stuck' in Germany. You are more likely to be stuck in UK as all the units in Germay have active operational roles, and carry them out with more than expected frequency.

Baggy
 
#20
Thanks for the kind words and sage advice. I had considered going officer, but alas I was extremely slack at school and dropped out of college without finishing my A-Levels, which means if I want to make Officer I have to do it the hard way ;) I reckon I'd make a better officer if I'd picked up some experience along the way anyway.

I thought I'd let you all know that I've decided that I have put my two preferred trades down as Fitter (General) and something in signals (I haven't made my mind up 100% on that one as yet).
 

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